Wednesday, November 6, 2019

U.S. Starts Process to Exit Paris Climate Agreement

Photo: Li Muzi/Xinhua/Zuma Press
U.S. cites unfair economic burden posed on American workers and businesses
The U.S. has officially started the process of exiting the Paris climate agreement, citing an unfair economic burden posed on American workers and businesses, the State Department said Monday.
The U.S. submitted the notification to the United Nations on Monday and the process will take one year to complete. The U.S. will continue to seek to reduce emissions through research and innovation, the State Department said.
President Trump said in 2017 that he would withdraw the U.S. from the treaty, which aims to cap carbon dioxide emissions and curb the global rise in temperatures. He said it unfairly penalized American workers.
The Obama administration helped shape the accord, which went into force on Nov. 4, 2016, after 55 signatories representing over half of total emissions ratified it, including the U.S., China and the European Union. Since then, 187 countries have ratified the agreement.
The Paris treaty was designed to make it difficult for countries to leave the deal once it was ratified; the process could only be started three years after the effective date of the agreement.
The Obama administration pledged to aim to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 26% to 28% below 2005 levels by the year 2025. Mr. Trump could have chosen to reduce the target, which is set by each country voluntarily, a move that would have weakened the pact but kept the U.S. inside the accord.
In September, Russia joined the growing list of countries that have ratified the treaty. A future president could re-enter the pact. The exit is due to be completed on Nov. 4 next year, a day after the 2020 elections.
The Paris Accord sought to strengthen the impact of the Kyoto Protocol, which legally bound signatories to reduce emissions, but failed to get the two major polluters on board—the U.S. and China.
Read rest from the WSJ HERE.

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